What I learned on my way home yesterday

It was a pleasant enough evening, so I headed home "the long way", including a detour to Richmond Park. Nothing too extreme, but probably about 25km in all. It’s not going to prepare for anything loopy, but better than nothing.

I had quite an eye-opening ride, apparently I’m a bit dim and my fellow travellers were kind enough to educate me:

  • I didn’t realise that WVM were unofficial agents for HMRC, as one helpfully pointed me at the cycle lane that runs next to Priory Lane, "you don’t pay road tax, get off the road on to the cycle lane". (A shame that I didn’t have my P60 easily to hand.)
  • Apparently minicabs are now driving instructors too, as one was telling me how to indicate (or should that be gesticulate?) after he’d not seen my signal. (He was too busy breaking the 20mph park speed limit to get away to be able to see if his advice had been well taken.)
  • The summer cyclists have a different rule to the rest of us. Red lights are "only for sheep who can’t think for themselves or see that the road is clear ahead".
  • Range Rovers really do have the right for more roadspace, that can only be why, when approaching a bottle neck as the road narrows, one overtook me and forced me to stop rather than get run off the road.
  • Apparently it is now socially acceptable to harrang other people merely for being where you don’t think they should be. Tourists and slow coaches get in the way on the tube, but aren’t you meant to mumble under your breath at them while tutting rather than (hilariously) screaming and trying to run them out of the way?

I know I’ve complained about lack of tolerance for these things before, but as long as it grinds, it’ll be worth howling at the blogosphere for.

I genuinely think that London’s roads are a friendlier place than they were 10 years ago, but some evenings I am reminded that it’s a fine line between getting home in one piece in a good mood and remembering that the average fellow road user is likely to want you to not be there and is prepared to forego normal social mores to let you know that.

[tags]cycling, london, richmond park, wvm[/tags]

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